Blogs from Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Sumatera Utara January 1st 2021

For whatever reasons, I kept traveling during rainy season, not an ideal time for traveling in a tropical country like Indonesia. Delayed for a couple of hours, our flight arrived in Gunung Sitoli in the afternoon. Until a few years ago, the only mode of transport reaching the island was by ferry from Sibolga. Nias is an island on the East of North Sumatera, famous for its waves and swell among surfers as well as its unique culture. To reach Nias, we had to fly from Jakarta to Medan and to take a connecting flight to Binaka Airport at Gunung Sitoli, its capital. Despite its proximity to North Sumatera, Nias has its own dialect and culture. It's hard to imagine that ancestors of Nias people were originally from Taiwan thousand years ago, given the names of ... read more
Sorake Bay
Stone Jumping
In traditional Nias costume

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pekanbaru March 8th 2020

Sunday, 8th March 2020 We still had sometime to explore the city this morning before our evening flight back to Singapore. After extending our room check-out time to 4pm, we headed back to the town centre for breakfast. Porridge became my staple during this trip to Pekanbaru even though the highlight this morning must be the fish soup and the fried bee hoon from Kian Wee Seafood Soup. After our hearty meal, we walked towards the riverfront where the iconic Rumah Singgah Tuan Kadi is located. This is a historic building located next to the Siak River which is rather posh for its time. The house is elevated by short pillars which perhaps served to prevent it from being flooded by the overflowing river during the rainy season. Back at the hotel in the afternoon, we ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pekanbaru March 7th 2020

Saturday, 7th March 2020 It was awesome to start the day with a swim at the hotel's infinity pool. From where I stood, the morning views of the city was unforgettable. At 8am, this was probably the best time of the day to be at the pool when the majority of the hotel guests were either asleep or having their breakfast. Since we had opted out from the hotel buffet, it was time to check out some breakfast options at Chinatown after the swim. Whether it was local porridge or chicken drumstick hor fun or char kuay teow, there were plenty of delicious options for us. Our gourmet journey continued to the local market where there were options for some kueh kuehs and keropok from one of the many colorful vendors around. Next, no visit to ... read more
Lunch at Pagi Sore
Wedding Bells along the way
Dinner at Pondok Gurih

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pekanbaru March 6th 2020

Friday, 6th March 2020 The trip to Pekanbaru was put together some three weeks ago with H during a friend's gathering. Torn between Kuantan in Malaysia and Pekanbaru in Sumatra, we decided on the latter for a fresh perspective. We flew off on Friday afternoon and it didn't help that I was sick between Monday to Wednesday prior to the trip. Thankfully, I managed to stage a recovery on time and by Friday, we were ready to board the flight from Changi Airport. Touching down at the modern Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport some 50 minutes later, our hotel at the Zuri Pekanbaru was another 20 minutes away by car. Ideally situated closed to shopping facilities, the modern hotel boasts a beautiful infinity pool on level 19 of the property - a very welcoming respite ... read more
Alfresco dining
The drinks, the snacks and the condiments
Carrefour Panda Tea

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Banda Aceh December 7th 2019

When Indonesians talk about the size of their country, they always mention two names, Sabang and Merauke, the two extremities of the country. I was in Merauke last year, the eastern most point of Indonesia, and now I have been to Sabang, the western most point. In actual fact I haven't been to the uttermost ends of either of the two. There are monuments at both places, at Merauke it is on the border with Papua New Guinea, and I didn't go there. On Pulau Weh, of which Sabang is the main town, it is on the western most cape, and I didn't go there either. But I would say I have been close enough to both. Let's say I have been to the uttermost ends of Indonesia, give or take 50 kilometers. I think that's ... read more
Pulau Weh
Pulau Weh
Pulau Weh

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pulau Banyak November 29th 2019

Indonesia has a bit of a plastic problem. I don't normally talk about it in my blogs, and if you would look at my pictures you might not expect it. But plastic is literally chocking up the rivers, polluting the jungles, and clogging the seas of this country. And every now and again I get confronted with this fact. Mostly I try to ignore it. I try to ignore the people throwing their plastic bags, bottles, cups and whatever else out of the bus, car or boat. I try to look the other way when seeing the side of the roads littered with plastic, I frame my pictures in such a way that you don't see all that I see! But that doesn't mean it isn't there!! It is, always, everywhere. I cycled around Samosir Island ... read more
Tanjung Pinang to Dumai
Parapat to Tuk Tuk

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukittinggi November 6th 2019

After Pagar Alam, I ended up city hopping a bit around Sumatra, three towns, each with its own tale and flavour. I had different reasons for visiting each one of them. The first one up was Palembang. Now Palembang isn't really on anybody's bucket list, there isn't much to see or do there. It is a big city, clogged with the usual traffic and struggling with the resultant pollution. Just like any other big town in these regions. That said, I didn't find Palembang that bad. It has a nice river front scene, and a friendly population. The reason for visiting Palembang was to see the city my father once worked and lived in. A long time ago, when I was still a student. I never visited, my mum did. And so I was curious to ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pagaralam October 31st 2019

With TravelBlog... But only a little late. I should have written this blog half a week ago. But I was busy. Busy searching for megalithic statues in Pagar Alam. Together with my guide/homestay manager/English teacher, Mr. Perdi. Who only wanted enough money for a kilogram of rice, for his services. Two days of riding around with me and showing me all the sights. For a bag of rice! I think not! I decided Perdi deserved more than a bag of rice, and paid him the normal guide fee. But it tells you a little about Perdi's view on life. He really wasn't that interested in my money. He was interested in meeting me and showing me around. Point. The same with his English class, he charges a measly 30 cents per lesson to his students, because ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra May 5th 2019

Od tejto casti indonezie som mal velke ocakavania, ktore sa vsak nenaplnili. Ludia boli zvacsa dopohody, doprava totalne bezproblemova avsak moje destinacie boli kurevsky daleko od seba, jedlo fajn. Turistov som moc veru nestretol, vynimku tvori ostrov weh. Mrzi, ze som nevidel orangutanov, kvoli ktorym som sem vlastne siel avsak spat v dzungli pod stanom ma veru nelakalo. Potapanie priemerne, ziadne micro a velke ryby. Len klasicke ako vsade inde, potesili akurat chobotnice. No a nepotesila moja prva skusenost a dufam, ze i posledna so stratou vedomia pod vodou. Nastastie som vedomie nestratil. Tuto cast indonezie veru navstivit uz neplanujem, max tak behnut este raz na orangutanov ale nie do ketambe. Mozno juh je ok ale tazko povedat a este odporucany ostrov palambak. No a opat ma v rozlete zabrzdili zdravotne problemy. Po zbaveny sa infekcie, ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Banda Aceh April 12th 2019

Poriadne vyspaty smer restika kde vyplacam ucet. Sedel tu i jeden belgican, ten ide na rovnaku lod ako ja (trajekt 14.30). Chcel sharnut odvoz do pristavu ale ja mam motorku. Neskor z neho vypadlo, ze leti zajtra rovnakym letom do kl ako ja. Tak v banda aceh, ze mozme sharenut izbu. Mal tip na ac izbu za 80k v gm inn hoteli ( Konecne nasadzujem topanky, hned sa clovek lepsie pohybuje. Prst je uz v pohode avsak na druhej nohe mam zas nove zranenie ale vyzera to len na oskreninu na prste. Zhavim motorku a zhananie ranajok, nikde po ceste nic. I vecer(po 1900) je problem zohnat jedlo, vsetko zavrete. Prakticky jem az pred mesteckom sabang, tu kupujem aj flaskovy benzin. Jedlo len trocha ryze s mini ryba. To bolo zabalene v sacku a este v ... read more

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